Feeds

MoveOn tells Facebook to stop shining Beacon

Bright light, bright light

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Facebook has been hit by yet another privacy backlash, this time from an online democracy watchdog which has mounted a campaign against part of the social networking site's new advertising strategy.

MoveOn.org charges that Facebook's Beacon ad program violates privacy because it automatically broadcasts what a user has bought on external partner sites to their friends', family and acquaintances' so-called News Feeds.

It reckons that displaying private purchases is "a huge invasion of privacy" and that the app itself poses problems for users because it is difficult to opt out of altogether.

Instead, Facebook users have to opt out of participating retail sites such as eBay on a case-by-case basis because there is no universal option.

"A lot of us love Facebook - it's helping to revolutionise the way we connect with each other," said MoveOn, "but they need to take privacy seriously."

Unsurprisingly, a protest group against the ad program has been set up on Facebook in which users have posted testimonials that say Christmas has been ruined because gifts they have bought have been published on their News Feeds.

The group currently has close to 5,000 members criticising Facebook's latest method of punting user data to marketeers.

Like many other Web 2.0 beasts, Facebook has been tinkering with ways and means of making social networking a lucrative money-spinner. Boss Mark Zuckerberg has dubbed this new system Social Ads.

In a statement about the latest brouhaha, Facebook said yesterday: "Information is shared with a small selection of a user's trusted network of friends, not publicly on the web or with all Facebook users.

"Users also are given multiple ways to choose not to share information from a participating site, both on that site and on Facebook."

Meanwhile, MoveOn has called for Facebook to reverse what it described as a "massive privacy breach". Oddly, in a Web 2.0 twist, it's also encouraging people to join its Facebook protest group. But of course first you have to be a member of the ubiquitous social networking utility... ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.